So Why is it Called a Podcast?
Journalist Ben Hammersley of The Guardian coined the term “podcast” in a 2004 article by simply taking the “pod” out of the iPod and “cast” out of “broadcasting” – and the rest is history. Comedian Ricky Gervais has actually made the Guinness Book of World Records when he took up podcasting in late 2005 – exceeding 4.5 million downloads within two months of The Ricky Gervais Show’s first release. So whether you’re in the process of building your own website or looking for ways to promote your business – a podcast is an efficient tactic to reach your audience in new ways.
If you’re a good talker, you provide your readers with a fresh means of consuming your content. Whether you go for audio podcast or a video podcast, it saves a whole lot of people a whole lot of extra reading. Equally important – if listed in podcast libraries, like iTunes for example, your podcast will literally reach more people.
What Should you be Podcasting about?
Something you’re both passionate and dedicated to should do the trick – and the two don’t necessarily mean the same. You may be passionate about current affairs or the fashion industry, but having the dedication to pursue these topics requires research and planning you may soon get tired of. Therefore, choose a topic you are well versed in, and can delve into without being drained by the process.
Promoting your Podcast
You may have the wittiest, grandest, most informative podcast ever – but if you post it in Internet Sahara (a beautiful, yet somewhat desolate network) none would be the wiser. Apart from the more obvious tactics – posting in iTunes and creating a Twitter, Facebook and Google+ fan pages – this list of sites that accept podcast submissions should get you started.
How to Create a Podcast
Basically, you need gear that you may already have: a PC or Mac, a good quality mic, soundcard, monitors and headsets or headphones. Check out setting up a home studio for a straightforward list, or how to podcast tutorial for more elaborate explanations about the required gear.
For the next step, editing your podcast, you can use the popular and free Audacity for PC, and GarageBand for Mac. For a comprehensive list of podcast software, check out 2012 Best Podcast Software Comparisons and Reviews.
The Podcast Awards have reportedly had over 350,000 people voting for their favorite podcasts in the U.S; granted, this “people’s choice” does not necessarily reflect the most popular podcasts overall, but it’s still a good place to check how successful podcasts are made. Take This American Life for example, winner of the 2007, 2008 and 2011 best Podcast in the Culture/Arts category. According to statement made by the program, the show is downloaded by more than 400,000 people each week. The multiple award-winning weekly 4Player Podcast is another stalwart example of a successful gaming podcast. The weekly online broadcast WDW NewsCast leads the way in the travel category, and there is fame and glory to be taken in every category imaginable. You don’t have to be Ricky Gervais to make it; check out, for example, these 100 best small business podcasts for 2011.